Series: War God 2, chapter 7
Date: 22 December 1998
New Beginnings
By Athea

Joxer cradled his goblet in both hands while he leaned against the wall of Hestia's temple. He watched Ares dancing with Harmonia and smiled lovingly at the pair. The party had been going on for a while and he was beginning to get a little antsy. At the moment he was taking a break from the dancing.

A small frown crossed his face when yet another Muse brushed up against him on her way to the banquet table. //Is it my imagination or have all the goddesses suddenly gone into heat?//

//It's a form of backlash from the war and the release of the Chaos energy.// Ares replied to his idle thought with a quick look and a reassuring smile while he spun his daughter around with a flourish and danced her over to where Joxer was leaning.

Joxer kissed Harmonia's cheek and watched her giggle her way back to the dance floor while Ares settled in beside him and stole his goblet. He watched the dark god's throat swallow the nectar and felt a flame ignite inside. The brown eyes met his in answering lust and the whole room went away while the feeling surged back and forth between them.

"Oh, Chaos, guys! I want some of that." Aphrodite growled from beside them. "You're both putting out 'fuck-me-now' signals that are going to get you stampeded if you don't tone it down."

"C'mon, 'Dite. It's only residual left from the Chaos energy." Ares cajoled his former lover. Joxer just kept reminding himself that she was the mother of his child and should get the benefit of the doubt for the way she was eyeing his lover.

"Bull!" Aphrodite visibly pulled herself together and grabbed both their elbows, towing them out to the portico and away from the music. Letting them go, she hugged herself and split her glance between the two of them.

"Listen, guys, this wasn't the way I was going to bring up the subject but it's getting bad." She paused and a shiver ran over her slender frame. Ares' hand went out to her but stopped just short of her shoulder. Joxer sent him a quick thought of compliance and received his silent thanks.

Aphrodite reached out a hand to both of them and seemed to gain strength from their touch. Joxer could feel another presence in his mind, although it was wraithlike in comparison to his bond with Ares. A quick thought from his lover promised an explanation later.

"Men aren't feeling this, I know. If you could only understand this ... need, some of us have." Her voice trembled with the passion of her words. "This bone deep, never-goes-away desire to mate and fill myself with a child. It's been over seventeen years since Harmonia and six hundred since Cupid, but this need is consuming me like no other. And Hep can't fill this urge the way he fills all my other desires." She blinked away a tear and held their hands more tightly.

Joxer listened to Ares' silent explanation of the accident that had scarred, crippled and sterilized his brother so many centuries ago. Compassion filled his mind at the thought of the god of the forge who could create such beautiful objects of metal but never a child of his own.

"He knows, you see, what I'm going to ask of you." Her smile was tremulous. "I want you. Both of you." Her blue eyes glowed fervently. "You come as a set these days and I'm rather glad of that. Joxer's sweetness and Ares' power would create beautiful children. Think about it." She looked back and forth between them. "Really think about it. If you'll remember a conversation we had a while back, Ares, this could be the solution to your question."

Reaching up, she brushed her lips across Joxer's. Just once, then she kissed Ares and left them. Her perfume seemed to wrap itself around him and the touch of her mouth lingered. His lover pulled him close and transported them to the valley in a heartbeat. For a moment, it felt like a strange place instead of home, then the familiar sights and smells settled into him and Joxer heaved a sigh of relief.

He checked his plants, keeping his hands busy while his thoughts raced through all the possibilities. The worst one kept coming back to him - Ares leaving him for Aphrodite. Realizing that Joxer couldn't give him everything that the goddess of love could. No children, ever.

Strong arms surrounded him where he crouched by the green plants. Warm lips nuzzled under his ear and the beloved voice resounded in his mind.

//Joxer, I love you. More each day. More than I've ever loved anyone before. I will never leave you. No matter what the reason.//

"But she's the mother of your child. You've loved her before." Joxer hated the way his voice sounded. Weak and tremulous.

Ares brought them both up and turned Joxer to face him, raising his chin and brushing a soft kiss across his lips. "That's true. But I've had many children and if I never had another, I honestly don't think I'd mind. They've become more of a duty than anything else. Although, I will admit that Harmonia does have a very special place in my heart."

Joxer realized they were moving towards the fireplace. The dancing flames made no impact on the bone deep chill that shook him. He hadn't even had a year of Ares and he feared losing him to the beautiful goddess of love.

"Joxer, don't you think I have the same fear?" Ares' dark eyes caressed him while he settled them on the rug by the fire, never letting go. "You've never had a child or even much experience with women. What if being with Aphrodite reveals that I was a mistake? An experiment."

"No way!" Joxer automatically protested, feeling the air on his bare skin and running his hands down Ares' suddenly naked back. "I'll admit I don't have vast amounts of experience but I do have *some*. And neither of them made me feel like you do. You care about me. The me who sings silly songs and talks to his plants and ..." his voice trailed away.

Ares smiled tenderly and kissed him gently. "I love you. I've never been so connected to anyone before. You complete me. My soul would be empty without you."

Joxer blushed and hid his face against a convenient shoulder. His voice was muffled by the satin skin but he knew that Ares would hear every word. "I never really lived until you found me. Just ... passed through life looking for adventure or romance or a meaning behind the mysteries. And everything was a mystery." He ruefully acknowledged.

Ares stayed silent, stroking the long muscles of his back with callused fingers and Joxer relaxed into the movement before continuing. "Loving you gives me a purpose. But then suddenly I was immortal and then wham ... I'm a god. And I know I could live without you if I had to." He raised his head to look into the dark eyes of the god of war. "But I don't want to. I want to live with you and love you and look for something I can be the god of. Anyway, I'd probably be a lousy father."

"Joxer, Joxer, Joxer." Ares shook his head and kissed him again with bone melting fervor. Joxer could feel every inch of the warm body cradling his and he reveled in the slide of skin against skin. But then the motions stopped and he felt a hand raise his chin so he could look into Ares' eyes. "You will be a great father. Better than I ever was. You will love them, take care of them, worry about them and sing them to sleep with your songs. Which, by the way, haven't been silly since you stopped singing the 'mighty' song."

Joxer blushed again. "It didn't seem very appropriate once I became a god." But his mind was still on being a father. Remembering his own upbringing, he shuddered. "What if I'm like *my* father? Impatient, overbearing, disapproving ..."

Ares interrupted him with a hard kiss. "Nonsense. You wouldn't know how. You have too great a heart, Joxer. But before we can worry about what kind of father you'd be, we need to think about Aphrodite."

"Oh," Joxer cuddled closer. "Aphrodite. She's really experienced, right?"

Ares snorted. "She has more experience then any ten gods put together. When it comes to sheer erotic ability, she's the champ. And she loves her job, so she brings a real passion to it. But this is personal for her so it's likely to be a little different. I remember when Harmonia was conceived." Ares paused and Joxer shared the warmth of the memory of heat and joy.

"Her heart will be involved as will ours. No god should ever be conceived without both parents hearts in it." A little frown creased his forehead. "Not because of Chaos energy or expediency or because so many gods died and need to be replaced."

Joxer stroked his hip and pushed him onto his back so he could slide over him like a blanket. "We would love him or her. And so would Aphrodite and their big sister Harmonia and great aunt Hestia ..."

Ares smiled and raised his knees to cradle his lover. "So, you think we should give it a try? It doesn't have to be Aphrodite, you know. All the goddesses will be affected to a certain extent. Although thankfully, Harmonia is still too young. It will be fifty years or so before we have to begin worrying about her." He frowned at the thought of his young daughter then went on with his explanation. "Once we commit to one, the others will leave us alone. Our scent changes after we've made love with our chosen goddess. And once she's pregnant, the other gods will quit approaching her."

Joxer thought about it while he tasted Ares' throat with little laps of raspy tongue. The dark god's hands were busy between his cheeks trailing oily fingers up and down his cleft, massaging his balls with knowing touches. //The Muses are all really nice. Artemis is fun to be with and so is Richel. But we already know that you and Aphrodite make beautiful children and she asked first. Does Hephaestus really not mind? I don't want to hurt him.//

//Oh, it hurts a little, each time 'Dite chooses another, no matter how temporarily. But she is the Goddess of Love and he knew that going into their marriage. We didn't flaunt it when Harmonia was conceived and he's been a true father to her. Better than I ever was.// Ares' dark eyes closed and Joxer heard the note of pain beneath the matter of fact statement.

//I love you, Ares. And so does Harmonia. Maybe this next one will be different. We could spend more time with them while they're a baby. So, they know that we love them even when we have to be away.// Joxer thought back to when he was a child, always wondering where his mother and father were. He'd been very lucky to have Nana to hold him and sing to him.

Ares finished stretching him and Joxer sat up and then down on the long, hard cock that fit him so perfectly. Their hands slid together and they began the gentle rocking that would lead to so much more. Mind merged with mind until they were one body, each intent on the other's pleasure. Long moments of quiet passion flowed into a heated rhythm that peaked in a mutual sigh of release.

Joxer collapsed on Ares' chest and listened contentedly to the slowing heart beat. A stray thought crossed his mind and he felt Ares chuckle.

"Nothing's that good, Joxer. Making love with Aphrodite will be good but different."

"We won't merge with her like we do with each other, will we?" The terrible thought brought Joxer's head up.

"No, love. That seems to be something only you and I share. There are only two other recorded cases in the Archives. That I could find. I suppose if we told one of the Muses, they'd help us look. But I'd just as soon, we didn't share this just yet." Ares rolled them onto their sides and slipped from Joxer's body with a regretful sigh.

"Yes, please. I'm enough of a curiosity right now without adding something else different." Joxer had noticed some of the mutterings among the gods who felt keenly that they hadn't been consulted on his godhead. Hera had silenced most of them but occasionally he still got a frown.

"It will all die down, love. Until we give them something else to talk about, like having a child with Aphrodite. Of course, we won't be the only ones in the coming baby boom." Ares kissed his frown away and held him close.

Joxer felt a little undercurrent to their thoughts. A little glow of satisfaction that had something to do with ... Athena? Raising his head, he looked down at the rather smug look on his lover's face. "What have you done, Ares?"

"Well ..." the dark god of war looked extremely satisfied with himself. "When I realized there was going to be a backlash to the Chaos energy, I made sure that Cycrops had a double helping of ambrosia. No way do I want 'The having a demigod. Not after what happened with Ate."

Joxer nodded solemnly at the thought of the rogue but then a slow smile began to stretch across his face, matched by Ares' grin. Pretty soon they were laughing helplessly while they tried to picture the reaction on the part of the other gods when they realized that Cycrops had become one of them.

"Uncle Poseidon is going to be so-o-o-o upset." Ares chortled. "I'm rather looking forward to watching him turn blue and swell up. This time we've stolen a march on the women of the family."

"You are so bad, Ares!" Joxer snorted and sat up, pulling his lover with him. "Let's take a bath. We're a little sticky."

Ares transported them directly into the warm waters of the spa and Joxer began to wash his lover's hair while he thought about their decision. He wanted to try it. To make love to Aphrodite and maybe create a child. Taking a deep breath, he opened his mind to Ares and felt his calm acceptance.

"Tomorrow, love. We'll tell her then. Should we bring her back here or stay on Olympus?" Ares began to return the favor and Joxer felt his whole body relax under his lover's magic fingers.

"Olympus. This is just our place. At least for now. It's enough that Aunt Hestia and Harmonia know about it." Joxer looked upside down at Ares.

"Olympus it is. Tomorrow." The velvet brown eyes gazed down at him with affection and Joxer felt himself melt, all over again into Ares' love.



Aphrodite looked at herself in the mirror. Too much? The pale pink dress was totally see-through and she'd rouged her nipples so they shone through the filtering silk. Grimacing, she waved herself naked and clean. Tart-city wasn't what she was looking for. Taking down her elaborate hairdo, she let her blond hair fall over her shoulders.

Looking through the hanging dresses, she sighed. Nothing was right. How in Tartarus do you appeal to two such different men? Her hand paused from its flinging aside while a new thought sunk in. How about she pleased herself with something she liked and let the guys enjoy it or not? *It's not like I'll be wearing it long.*

Giggling, she pulled out one of her favorite outfits. A heavy opaque silk dress, cut up to her hip on one leg with both sleeves hanging in loose folds from little bands that ran down her arms. Hep always said the dye-maker had stolen a glance from her eyes. Her eyes softened, thinking about her wonderful husband.

He was going to bury himself in his forge and work on a magic sword for one of the heroes. She sighed, thinking about what they *hadn't* said when they'd said goodbye this morning. Right after the message from Ares had come. She hugged her arms and watched the woman in the mirror. The woman who wanted another child so badly, she was going to seduce two men who loved each other.

"But they're fond of me." She told her image. "And Hep is okay with it. And Ares makes beautiful children. And Joxer ... well, he's so sweet and has such a lovely voice that his child would be beautiful too. Then this craving will go away and I'll be back to normal again. Until I start to show. Until my ankles swell up and my back starts to hurt and I begin to look like a cow."

Her frown turned into giggles when she thought about all the wonderful things she could make her three men do for her while she was pregnant. The cravings, back rubs and pampering she intended them to provide her during the long months of her pregnancy.

A noise from the other room brought her mind back to the first task. Seducing the guys into enjoying themselves while she got what she wanted. A child ... from whichever god sparked her seed first. Ruffling her hair so it cascaded in a waterfall of gold over the blue shoulder straps, she took a deep breath and stepped out to greet her guests.

"Hi, guys."

Oh, they looked good enough to eat. Matching dark heads turned to her and she savored the shy smile on Joxer's face while Ares' grin reminded her of the old days. Their leather outfits creaked with that wonderful little scritch that always sent a shiver up her spine. This was going to be so much fun.

Kissing Joxer first, she tasted his trembling lips and reminded herself to go slow with him. Ares' mouth immediately opened to her and she enjoyed the familiar heat of the god of war. Once tasted, never forgotten. He was ambrosia and dark passion all twisted into one. Stepping away, she noticed Joxer's smile.

"I'm taking you to someplace very safe." She decided at that moment to *not* use her temple. Too much chance for an interruption. "I hope you don't mind but I want total seclusion for our lovemaking."

Hugging Joxer close, she transported them to her mountaintop retreat. He started when he saw where he was and a look of panic crossed his face.

"It's all right, lover. I'm going back for Ares right now. Look around." Aphrodite calmed his fears and winked out, expecting to find the dark god fuming. But he wasn't. He simply held out his arms for her embrace and she wondered again just how strong their connection was.

Transporting the god of war took more energy and she was glad to let him go for a moment while she regrouped. Taking a quick look around, she made sure everything was in place. Her aerie, she laughingly called it. A large round cave with a fire pit in the middle and the furniture scattered around the perimeter. The table held a tempting banquet while the hot, spiced wine nestled in its special spot by the fire.

The bed was large and inviting with crisp white linen and a soft pink comforter. The pillows were fluffy and edged with lace, stacked up against the gray stone walls. She saw Joxer sneak his hand into Ares' and she smiled to herself. The young god first so he'd be all nice and relaxed when she took his mate.

"I like what you've done with the place, 'Dite." Ares turned to take in the whole cave. "It's where you brought Harmonia after she was born, yes?"

"Hep calls it my aerie." She crossed to the fire and poured a goblet of wine. Taking a sip, she moved to her soon-to-be lovers and offered it to Joxer. "I come here to recharge my air element. Sometimes, I sit for hours outside on the ledge, just letting the wind curl around me, teasing my skin with it's caress." She let her words begin the seduction. Watching them both while Ares took a deep drink.

"It's peaceful up here. And quiet. Sometimes, I crave that. After all the hustle and bustle of Olympus." She smiled at Joxer and watched his agreement relax his facial muscles. "I could have built a house but one day, while I was flying I came across this cave. I just knew it was the right place for me."

Joxer had the goblet back again and he was sipping it slowly while he watched her hands play with the leather strips that held his green vest together. She tickled his skin with just the pads of her fingertips and felt the little shiver that coursed through him. Her eyes went to Ares and he nodded before bringing those pouty lips to Joxer's ear.

"Why don't we move this to the bed, lover?" That husky voice sent shivers up Aphrodite's spine and she watched Joxer's eyes close and a look of bliss cross his face. He nodded and together they walked to the bed. With a surge of power, Ares undressed them all and Aphrodite pretended not to watch while the dark god soothed his lover down onto the wide bed.

She fitted herself against Joxer's right side while Ares took his left. His head turned back and forth between them as if unable to believe he was really there. She noticed his cock was stuck halfway up and halfway down and reaching over with one long fingered hand, she trailed a caress up the warm shaft.

His mouth made a silent 'oh-h-h' and his hips twitched. Then Ares began tonguing his ear and he shivered. Aphrodite moved up so she could brush her breasts against his chest and he opened his mouth to pant. That was too good to pass up so she kissed him. He'd obviously had an earlier goblet of winter wine, his breath was so sweet.

Soft as a feather. Warm as a hot spring. Heavenly ticklish. She catalogued his reactions to her lips and tongue. Oh, he was good. His shy entwining caresses were addictive and the hot nothings that Ares was whispering in their ears were turning up the heat. Joxer's hands shyly traced over her back and down to her buttocks making her tingle with a growing need to merge with the young god.

She rested her lower body against his and felt his shaft twitching between her legs. Running her hands over his chest, she tweaked his nipples and swallowed his groan with her mouth. Ares' hand slipped between them and his clever fingers caressed her mons. This time, Joxer smiled into her moan.

Aphrodite tore her mouth away from the seductive lips beneath hers so she could breathe. They were both panting now and a thin film of sweat was lubricating their bodies in a skin to skin slide. His chest hair was tickling her into a heightened state of arousal and her nipples were so sensitized that when Joxer flipped her to her back and latched on to one of them, she almost arched them both off the bed.

The young god settled between her legs, his cock iron hard now and nestled ... almost where she needed him. Her hands carded through his silky hair while he made a meal of her breasts. Ares' warmth was still beside them, his hand low on Joxer's back. Probably keeping him anchored, she decided between moans. The heat rose another ten degrees when she tilted her pelvis and Joxer slipped just inside her channel.

Not enough, she whimpered and felt him adjust to the new sensation. Then, he was pushing in and finally she had him. Wrapping her legs around his waist, she bounced up while he was thrusting down and soon their rhythm matched their moaning. They traded breath in kiss after kiss while her hands kneaded his back and his clutched her hips.

She felt him shudder even though she could tell he wasn't quite ready to release and opened her eyes to see what Ares was doing. The dark god lay just to one side, propped on one elbow with his other hand out of sight. By the way that Joxer was wriggling, she bet herself that Ares had at least two fingers buried inside his lover and was probably massaging his pleasure spot.

She was beginning to feel that old familiar flame in her stomach, the one that meant she was going to come soon and hard. Feeling Joxer move back and forth inside, she started squeezing her inner muscles and felt him shudder and increase his thrust. Deep. She needed him deep inside her so none of his seed could escape. Tilting her pelvis up and tightening her legs to keep him inside, she felt the tingle spread through out her lower limbs.

And it was now. She spasmed and felt him release his delicious warm seed right into her pulsating womb. Shudders raced through them both and they shook together before Joxer hid his face in her neck and went boneless. She could have sworn that he was the only thing holding her onto the bed. Sighing, she relaxed all her muscles and let her legs fall to either side of him.

After a few moments Joxer slipped free and Ares moved up the bed until he was beside them, gathering them both into his embrace. This time Joxer slid to his left side and Aphrodite cuddled into his right. His voice was a low murmur of sound that drew the goddess of love closer.

"You looked so good together, love. Dark and light combining into one beautiful whole. He or she is going to be one gorgeous child." He kissed the sweaty dark curls on Joxer's head before casting his gaze on Aphrodite. "And you were hot, 'Dite. It's been a while since I've seen you in action."

The need was rising again like the second wave of a fever. She raised up and deliberately stuck out her tongue to lick her way from his nipple to his throat. That little patch just behind his ear was ... still a hot spot, she grinned to herself.

"First course was deliciously sweet. For my second course, I'd like to try a different dish. Something ..." her hand wandered down the flat stomach to grip the rising cock, "hot ... and spicy." She leaned up and kissed those soft lips after much too long a time. They parted for her and serious tongue fucking ensued.

This time it was Joxer's hand that reached to pull her up and onto Ares' body. She forgotten how hairy he was, cushioning her with his silken curls. He slipped inside her with one thrust up and she sat back onto his shaft with a shudder. Oh, she remembered this. Big and hard, filling her with his power.

Her hands slid over his stomach in little caresses while her thigh muscles took the strain of moving her up and down on his cock. His hips thrust up in a demanding rhythm that took all her concentration because she was close again. Too close and when he flipped her over and began to really pound into her willing sheath, she lost all control and peaked with a shriek.

His whole body went rigid and she felt his warm liquid flow deep inside, mingling with the remnants of Joxer's seed. They pulsed together in a shared release that went on and on. *Yes! That's two.* Then, he relaxed and pulled them over to their sides. She felt Joxer put his arms around them both while he blanketed his lover's back. *Good. He's all right with this,* was her last thought before she passed out.


Ares awoke slowly, a familiar body plastered against his back radiating heat. But the unfamiliar body layered against his front bemused him until the memories of their lovemaking returned. Ah, yes. Aphrodite, still asleep and doing that ladylike little snore that she always swore never crossed her lips. Grinning, he turned his head slightly to check on Joxer.

Judging by his cock, he was still asleep but dreaming something stimulating. Eyes closed but twitching. Ares stilled his mind and slipped into his lover's dream. Water. Bubbling hot water and cool crisp air. Sunlight dancing on the small waves of the pool. Joxer lay, half floating in the buoyant mineral water, with his arms outstretched and his toes peeking out of the bubbles.

Ares backed out of the dream and smiled tenderly. Pondering the changing dynamics of their relationship, he turned his attention to the woman in his arms. Concentrating on Aphrodite, he slipped a hand onto the soft skin below her navel. Sinking his energy into her womb, he focused on the activity there. Light?

Closing his eyes, he looked for the light that would herald a new life. So small a spark glowed in the damp, warm womb. In his mind's eye, he blinked and tried to concentrate. Two lights? Curled around each other? Smiling, he opened his eyes and met Aphrodite's amused gaze.

"Well, what do you expect when two studs have their way with me?" She whispered in his ear. "My egg split in two and grabbed a seed from each of you. I am well and truly blessed. And you guys are going to be proud papas by the next summer's solstice."

"Really?" Joxer's excited voice came from over Ares' shoulder while his tousled head peered around his shoulder. "Boy or girl?"

Aphrodite giggled and raised up to kiss him. "Too soon to tell, lover. But one is yours and one Ares'. It will be a few months before we know anymore."

Ares flattened himself on the bed so his two lovers could kiss above him. They really did look good together. A slight twinge of melancholy tweaked his soul and although he tried to bury it, he knew that Joxer had felt it. The dark eyes opened and gazed down into his with a certainty that soothed his love over the tiny pain.

//Love you, Ares. More now than ever before.// Pouring his love through the channel that linked them together, Joxer broke off his kiss with the goddess of love and soothed a caress over his parched lips.

//Love you, Joxer. With all my heart.// Ares returned the love and felt their energy double then triple in strength. When they ended the kiss, all doubts had been laid to rest and they opened their eyes to find Aphrodite gazing at them in awe.

"I can feel you, like an echo in my heart. So close, the two of you feel like one soul. Just how tightly did you merge when the Chaos energy took you?" She was almost whispering.

Ares asked Joxer a silent question and his lover just smiled and nodded. "We merged after Joxer's apparent death. It felt like the energy flowed back and forth between us until we couldn't tell which was which anymore. It just keeps getting better and better. This last blast of Chaos seems to have truly bound us together."

"Wow! Who'd have thought my simple little favor would turn out so well?" The blond goddess smiled a rather self-satisfied smirk that brought out the pounce instinct in the god of war.

Attacking without warning, he tickled her into a fit of hiccuping giggles while Joxer laughed quietly to one side. Deciding that was too one-sided, Ares abandoned the writhing goddess and began a determined assault on each and every one of his lover's ticklish spots. Catching him off guard, he soon reduced him to helpless groans.

Catching her breath, Aphrodite attacked him from the rear and pretty soon, the god of war was writhing under a double assault of fiendish fingers and tongues. Handicapped by their intimate knowledge of his weak points, he soon cried uncle and collapsed under them. An occasional giggle broke the panting silence of the crumpled bed.

"Sweet Fields, guys! I haven't laughed that hard in ages. I'm a wreck." The goddess of love rolled over and sighed contentedly. "Thank you, both, for being such good sports about this. You really have given me a great gift."

Ares shared a loving look with Joxer before turning his gaze to Aphrodite. She was looking rather pensive now and he strove to put the smile back in her eyes. "You're very welcome, 'Dite. You have given us a gift as well. After all, without your help, I'd have never met Joxer and discovered the other half of my soul."

He was promptly smothered by two pairs of lips and arms, enjoying the warm feelings that flowed from both his lovers. The silence brimmed with energy and he wondered who would be the one to suggest the next round. Not surprising, the goddess of love made the first move.

"Guys. I'm a wreck. Want to share the bath?" She wheedled softly.

"Yes!" Joxer sat up and looked around. Ares felt the surge of energy he always felt when he thought of a wet lover and the sultry look helped as well.

Aphrodite slid off the bed making sure she fondled both of them before sauntering towards a curtain of feathers at the far side of the cave. Joxer sat up and pulled Ares with him while they watched her disappear through the shimmering door.

"Wow! She's really something." Joxer sighed happily.

"Yes, she is, love. And so are you. You looked beautiful together. Dark and light in all your beauty." Ares feathered a kiss against his sweaty brow.

His dark eyes sparkled when he returned the kiss properly, nipping at his sensitive lower lip. //The two of you were all power and grace. Like sleek cats at play. And just as beautiful.//

"Don't make me come in there and drag you apart." The dulcet tones of their other lover echoed through the cave accompanied by the sounds of splashing.

They climbed out of bed together and entered the bathing area in curiosity. It was all pink marble and gold trimmings surrounded by huge mirrors that reflected the center bathtub and the golden nymph rising from the white bubbles that smelled of roses.

"Well, 'Dite, this is ... certainly pink." Ares climbed the three steps and sat down to slide into the steaming water. Watching Joxer disappear into the suds, reflected over and over again in the mirrors, was no hardship what so ever.

She shrugged prettily and grinned while she caught Joxer's hand and drew him closer. "It's my spa and I got to have it just the way I like it." Pulling him in and wrapping her arms around his neck, she stole a kiss. Ares picked up the soap and began lathering his lover's back, while he waited for them to come up for air.

He felt Joxer's wonder, the moment when he realized he could see the two small lights in Aphrodite's womb. The water acted as a catalyst for his growing powers with the elements. He broke the kiss and simply stroked his hands across her stomach in awe. Ares moved in for the hug he knew would help ground his lover at the same moment Aphrodite did the same.

They rested in the three-way embrace for a long moment before Ares pulled away and went back to his soaping. Only this time, he ducked both of them and reached for the shampoo. They came up sputtering and returned the favor with interest until their giggles had stopped. Joxer began to wash Aphrodite's long golden curls while Ares lathered his.

The goddess of love was all but purring while Joxer massaged her scalp with the same strokes he used on Ares. "I'll give you a hundred years to stop that, Joxer. You're really good at this."

His lover was himself almost moaning with the pleasure Ares' strong yet gentle fingers were dispensing. "Nana, my nurse while I was growing up, always used to massage my head when I had a headache or after I'd gotten hit."

Ares had to remove his hands and begin the rinsing process while trying to keep Joxer from feeling the deep anger that surged to the surface of his emotions. He'd seen all too well from Joxer's memories after they'd merged for the second time, how the young god's family had treated him while he was growing up.

Joxer promptly leaned back against him and let his love flow unstintingly through his heart. //I don't regret a moment, not even the pain. Because it brought me to you.// The simple statement brought a brief twinge to Ares' mind and he answered Joxer's question with a mental caress and a stream of water for his hair.

//I could say the same but my past is much worse than even your family's abuse. I would shield you from it if I could. I could hurt you worse than they ever did.//

//No. Only if you left me could you truly hurt me. Are you going to?// Joxer turned his sleek dark head, a drop of water dripping from his eyelashes like a tear. His gaze was clear and warm.

//Never.// The single word echoed through their bond with firm conviction and the kiss they shared was gentle and sweet, tasting of water and love.

"Guys ... guys!" Aphrodite's voice was exasperated and they separated to find her, hands on hips eyeing them teasingly. "This is really bad for my ego. This going off into some other world when I'm right here ... naked in our bath."

Ares nudged Joxer towards her with an elbow and a mental push as well. //Love, she's right. This is her time with us and we need to make it good for her. Besides, I've got a plan.//

//What?// Joxer queried automatically but Ares just laughed and layered some erotic pictures of how Joxer had looked earlier making love to the goddess over his thoughts.

Blushing, his lover kissed Aphrodite and cradled her lithe body tenderly while she wrapped her arms around his neck to pull him closer. Ares looked on approvingly and then moved in behind Joxer to initiate the first part of his plan. Lovingly, he traced the long muscles of the pale back until both hands disappeared beneath the bubbles.

Moving around the slender hips, his fingers sought the rising shaft while his lips began at the top of the shapely spine to nip along the tender skin. Moving closer, he let his own erection glide in tantalizing short strokes up and down the downy cleft. Aphrodite began moaning almost continuously when he diverted his right hand to part the silky hair of her mons and rub the pleasure spot there.

The bubble bath had much the same properties of their own spruce bath oil and leaving Joxer's cock bereft for a moment, Ares tested two fingers in the puckered opening. //Just right.//

//Now!// If a thought could pant, Joxer's had reached the hyperventilating stage. Ares grinned and pressed into the tight hot channel that opened so sweetly for him. Plunging deep, he finally rested his head against Joxer's shoulder and felt Aphrodite's hands ruffle through his hair.

"That is so hot!" She had taken over the task of teasing the cock before her but her laughing gaze met Ares' when Joxer's head collapsed back onto the broad shoulder waiting for it. "Even when you're taking him, you're still loving him."

Ares rocked back and forth with short little jabs to Joxer's pleasure spot that had the young god's hands on Aphrodite's breasts moving to the same rhythm. The young god's voice was raspy with passion when he answered her implied question.

"We've never figured out who's taking who when we're inside each other. Possessor and possessed. Which is which?" His head turned and his tongue licked a path of fire up Ares' throat.

The dark god felt his eyes sting and he watched the love in Aphrodite's gaze grow even deeper as her blue eyes darkened with the passion she was absorbing through the water and their skins. Her fingers combed through the curls surrounding Joxer's cock and Ares felt them as if it were his own flesh.

"Back up love." He reinforced the suggestion with a mental image of the ledge at his back and Joxer moved with him as he took the three steps that would bring them to the ledge that encircled the tub below the water line. Each step seemed to drive him deeper inside his lover until the sensation walked the thin line between pleasure and pain.

Reaching the seat, Ares guided them both down until Joxer was cradled in his lap still impaled on his cock. Aphrodite had followed and she laughed as she guided the cock in her hand into her silken depths. He and Joxer shared the long slow glide deep inside.

"The same but different." Joxer managed to speak the thought Ares had heard while he'd been making love to Aphrodite earlier. Chuckling somewhat breathlessly, he pulled the limber legs around them both and heard the moan that said she approved.

"Both hot and tight but *we* don't have to worry about getting pregnant." He shared a slow kiss with the goddess before taking Joxer's lips with passion. Aphrodite was flexing her inner muscles and moving up and down on the cock that filled her. Ares couldn't tell anymore which cock was his and which Joxer's.

All the sensations of being filled and filling another mixed together in the jumble that was the entity Ares-Joxer. They moaned in unison when Aphrodite bit one of Joxer's nipples and shuddered when she trailed her nails down Ares' arms leaving red lines down the tanned skin.

This time they all took it slow, flexing rather than thrusting. Letting the passion ratchet upwards by tiny increments that flowered into one long release of tension that pulsed one into the other until for one brief moment, they united into one being. Aphrodite shuddered in their arms and Ares felt her tears soak into Joxer's skin.

"Thank you, Joxer. And Ares." Her murmur came clearly to their ears. "Such a gift you've given me with your sharing. Almost, I envy you your closeness." She lifted her head and shared her gaze between them. "Take care of each other. You're both too precious to lose."

"We promise." They said in unison.

Languidly, they separated their pleasure soaked bodies and leisurely dried off before heading back to the suddenly pristine bed for a well-deserved nap. This time, the two gods cradled their lover between them. Joxer and Aphrodite fell asleep instantly but Ares just lay there for a long moment and watched them breathe.

Laying a gentle hand on Joxer's where it rested on the soft skin that harbored the two new energies, he pondered the new life they'd created. A child of Joxer's would be a very special child. The first of many? Smiling, he looked into the future and shook his head. It would never be the same.

Maybe ... it would be better.

End chapter 7